I scroll through my news feed and my heart is broken. What a joyous day for America. Yet, the feelings inside of me are torn for two communities I care deeply for. As my heart longs for these communities to live in unison, the reality sinks in as I continue to scroll. Many of my straight fellow brothers and sisters in Christ responded with words nothing short of hate, judgment, and ignorance. And not even just to the gay community, or the gay Christian community (YES GAY CHRISTIANS EXIST) but to each other.
I have no doubt the heart of God is breaking at the division within His church.
1) What you call truth and love, I call homophobia.
I have a girlfriend who posted a generic “love wins” picture on Instagram, and a fellow brother in Christ responded with something along the lines of “I thought you were Christian? Don’t claim what you contradict.” I could imagine him fuming with a self righteous anger. I believe that in his hateful words and in judging someone’s personal relationship with God, he thought he was speaking truth, loving in a tough way and standing true to his convictions. In actuality, he is a scared self righteous heretic, who is calling his homophobia “love”. The love he possesses is a human love, one that cares more about his own comfort than someone else’s humanity.
In a situation where straight Christians are negating another straight Christian’s faith because they are supporting their LGBT brothers and sisters, here’s what I have to say. If you are sinless, if you have NEVER “shamed” your faith, then cast that stone of shame. But if you have, (which you have) you’re a broken imperfect human being who is in need of a perfect savior: you should put down your stone, and walk away.
Fellow beloved. The “truth” you speak of, your convictions, if partnered with the rest of the book you love to quote so flippantly and out of context, should compel you to love in a way that is relentless. Let me remind you, Jesus loved sinners, sat with the low of the land, knowing that when it got difficult, when following Him seemed crazy, they would likely turn away. Yes, Jesus loved them, associated himself with them, ate with them, and then died for them knowing not all of them would turn from their sinful ways and be followers of Him.
In the same way, you should love the gay community. Period. Whether they decide to marry or not, you should love them. Indeed, I believe Jesus is calling you to love the gay community. Not to shove your hateful words down their throats. To actually love them just as they are, right where they are, for who they are. Because they are His.
2) You will never look into the eyes of a person who Jesus did not die for.
Behind every idea you have about sexuality, behind every “conviction” and perception, behind everything you say, and behind every broad statement about every single gay ever, there is an individual, a human being. A human being that JESUS DIED FOR. And, yes, Jesus died for them knowing that June 26th, 2015 would be the legalization of gay marriage. Not only that, I believe he is in constant pursuit of them. So if Jesus would die for them, I’m sure you can live in community with them.
3) Jesus wants His people to choose Him.
Jesus doesn’t want you to force every one to believe what you believe. If he wanted that, he would just make that happen. He is the God of the universe. He wants people to come to a place in their lives where they choose above all else that they want to commit their lives to Christ. Once they make that decision, they are to work out their own faith with God, with fear and trembling. God, in his infinite love for humanity, wants his people to choose him. While so many Christians, in their fear, want every one to agree with them.
In closing I want to say this. You never know what the person right in front of you is dealing with. God calls you to love the person right in front of you. At your home, at small group, on the side of the road. And if you spout out hateful things about homosexuality, you never know who is dealing with that in their own life. Perhaps it’s someone you love, and when you make one of your homophobic remarks, you close a door to love someone in front of you. So be thoughtful, be prayerful. Love relentlessly, and live a life that is worthy of the calling He has for you.
Peace and blessings fellow beloved children of God